Doggie Style

“Really?” Ernie complained after Candy had leaned in through the car window and kissed Tim and whispered something in his ear. Tim had shook his head ‘yes’ in response.

“What?” Tim laughingly asked, know full well where Ernie was heading with his comment.

“You willingly kissed that dog-face!” Ernie exclaimed.

“Yeah, I did,” Tim shot back, looking at him in his rear view mirror, “Besides look where you’re at.”

The two guys on either side of Ernie in the backseat laughed.

“So what did she say?” his younger brother, Ishi, asked.

“Candy said she’ll be waiting for me, if I promised to come back after dropping you guys off,” Tim answered.

“Holy shit, that means you can get laid if you do!” Ishi exclaimed.

“Evidently, you’ll fuck anything?” Ernie added.

“She’s not a dog, Arnie,” Tim defended Candy, “Anyway – what do you care, I mean once your home and in bed all you can do is jerk yourself off.”

Again laughter reverberated from the car’s interior as it turned south on the highway. Tim had instantly made up his mind to return despite having to drop his brother and friends off at their home some 20 miles away.

The Dodge Charger raced up the hill from Currant City with easy. It also cornered like a champ as Tim pushed down on the accelerator, increasing his speed as he steered in and out of the tight curves that made up the pathway through the towering trees.

He thought back to how she had kissed him and in doing so, had lightly run her hand over his hardening dick. That was enough to tell him that she was finally willing to go all the way, something he’d prompted her to do when she was a sophomore and he a junior in high school.

Tim also knew what most of the ‘boys’ he’d grown up with thought about Candy. Her red-hair and pale skin, though a turn-on to Tim, was a turn-off for others. He liked her bright blue-eyes as well, though he’d never heard a word from any of his male friends about them.

As he raced out of Latham Valley towards the highway and home, where he planned to drop his brother, Tim reflected back at how he’d talked Candy into getting naked with him in the grove beyond the school parking lot. She had a beautiful body and her skin, a creamy white, was soft and freckled.

“No,” she’d said back then, “I like Danny and I’m saving myself for him.”

Not wishing to push her any further, Tim gently pulled Candy to himself and kissed her, then whispered in her ear, “If you ever change your mind…”

She pulled away and the pair redressed themselves and headed onto the building once the class bell rang for third period to start. Candy went to her home-economics class and Tim, to the locker room for a very cold shower.

He’d sped back up the hill from Latham, through the towering dark canyon of trees and the winding roadway back to Bucks Junction, south of the city. He gunned the 383 engine to a speed of nearly 70 miles an hour through the back roads to Candy’s home.

The car, noisy because of a newly installed set of glass packs, slowed and Tim cruised by the darkened house. He turned around about half-a-mile down the road and slowly passed by again.

The house remained darkened. But not wanting to give up without exhausting all attempts, Tim parked the car down the lane and walked down to her home.

Standing to the side of the house, he saw a movement in the curtains in an upper floor room. He watched in hopeful anticipation, but nothing else.

After fifteen minutes, he turned and walked back to his car, wondering what had happened. He sat there for another 15 minutes, upset at having missed the opportunity and knowing he was leaving the area having joined the military.

He slowly cruised by the house one last time, before heading into town and a place at the counter of the only restaurant still open after midnight. There he nursed his wounded pride in the vanilla thickness of a large malt and a double helping of fries.

As Tim slurped at the remains of his malt, the door opened and a breathless Candy came hurrying in. She smiled sheepishly at Tim, who grinned back at her.

“Sorry,” she said, “My dad and brother were in the kitchen talking and I couldn’t get out of the house.”

“So that was you I saw in the upstairs window,” Tim said.

“Yes,” Candy responded as she leaned over to kiss Tim on the cheek.

He turned his head and met her lips before she had a chance to pull away. They both blushed.

“Want anything?” Tim asked.

“No,” Candy answered, adding, “Other than to get outta here.”

“Okay,” Tim smiled as he got up to pay for his meal, asking, “Where too?”

“Not Richard’s Knob,” Candy stated, “I don’t want my first time to be where every other girl has lost hers, too.”

The reply left Tim excited as he asked, “So any ideas?”

“Yeah, but you might think it’s weird,” Candy demurred.

“Try me,” Tim said.

“The cemetery,” she said, “No one’ll be there…jus’ us.”

When they pulled up to the entrance of the cemetery, they found the gate locked, so they parked the car further up the hill in the nearby residential area and walked back down. Not wanting to rush the situation, Tim held Candy’s hand as they wandered along the asphalt drives that lines the many eternal resting spots.

On the far side of the cemetery, near the older graves of the yard, they stopped and began kissing. It didn’t take very long for either one to get naked and to begin exploring each other’s body.

Tim stood still, like the nearby angelic statuary, as an aggressive Candy dropped to her knees a proceeded to suck and lick on his stiffened cock. Before he knew it, she was guiding him to the marble top of a nearby tomb, where she forced him to his back.

She slid up next to him and smiled, “I know what all the boy’s say about me, Tim. I don’t know why you like a dog like me.”

“Damn it, Candy – you’re not a dog!” Tim exclaimed, realizing that the moment was passing.

“Yes, I am and I know it,” she stated, “And I can prove it.”

“If anyone’s a dog – it’s me,” Tim immediately responded.

“What? Because they call you Dudley Dog?” Candy laughed.

“No – not because of that,” Tim said in frustration, adding, “Do we gotta talk about this now?”

“No,” Candy answered, as she readjusted to her knees, positioning her ass high in the air. “I expect you to fuck me good.”

Tim moved behind her and gently slipped his length of meat into her little fuck-hole. He felt her buck a little and make a small noise.

“Am I hurting you?” Tim panicked.

“No. I was expecting to though,” she answered as Tim thrust his pelvis forward into her butt-cheeks.

He moved steady and slowly, battling the want of going fast and hard. Tim needed this moment to last for as long as he could.

Suddenly, he erupted and globs of himself filled her pussy. He continued to pump himself into her as she let out a low moan that turned into a howl then fell into a whimper.

The sound of her ecstasy kept his cock hard as she crawled away from him and beckoned him to follow her lead. She had him lay on his back and she crawled up on his dick and sat on it with a pleasurable force.

Candy started out rocking back and forth in a slow and gentle motion, but as they continued to fuck and her body began to spasm, her movements grew fast and forceful. Tim held on until he was sure Candy was in the in the throes of a violent orgasm.

He bucked his hips upward into her well-spread pelvis and let go of a second hot load of jism. He had his hands cupping her breasts at first, but needing the extra support, moved them to her hips.

That’s when he opened his eyes to look at her. His heart lept at the sight of her lithe body covered in a thick, but soft reddish fur and her sharp-toothed grin as she smile down at him, her hips still moving back and forth.

Tim laughed, allowing himself to lose control. Candy’s smile grew even wider as she watched her lover transform from some simple county-bumpkin into a Lycanthrop like herself.

She fell on him, giggling, “See, I told you.”

“I never knew,” Tim replied as they caressed each others newly-sprouted fur.

Candy tried to move off of Tim, but he grabbed her and held her in place, “You’ll have to wait a bit, my cock has shape-shifted too. The head has become a large knot and we’ll have to let some of the swelling go down before we can become undone.”

“Oh, you’re such a dog,” Candy cooed as she slipped her tongue between his wonting, fur-lined lips.

“You are, too, Candy,” he relied between the quick, gentle french-kisses.

“No, I’m not,” Candy playfully growled, “I’m a horny bitch!”

They laughed until they howled like the werewolves they truly were.

Sci-Fi Fantasy Killer

That chanting, that chanting which I cannot get it out of my head: “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.” I’ve heard it several time now, while listening to stories written by H. P. Lovecraft.

Why does it draw me such? And what does it mean?

Though I have no idea what is being said, it feels natural to me as if it has been with me or in me all of my life. Perhaps I am gone mad and no one, including me, has figured it out.

There is a moon out this evening and yet everything feels covered in a fog, a blanket of clouds heavier than a wet wool blanket. My heart pounds so hard that I can hear it in my head, I’m finding myself looking behind me and deeper into shadows as if expecting something to spring out at me, snatching me up, dragging me into whatever hidden recess it may reside. Oh, this damned imagination of mine.

There it is again, that chanting, that infernal chanting. What might, “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn” mean.

Even in my sleep I hear it and yet I still cannot even pronounce those hauntingly awful words. Only one word is apparent and that is ‘Cthulhu.’

Why does this keep coming back to me, why has Lovecraft’s fictional character wormed its way into my brain. I do not know how to rid myself of the constant and nagging thought that it is somehow calling to me, drawing me ever closer to itself.

God, please let me sleep. I need sleep — so badly.

How long has it been since I first heard the voices speaking that vile jargon, over and over. I look outside my window, deep into the night and at first I see no one, nothing.

But it is there and it seems as if I am the only person who can hear it. At times the sing-song of the phrase comes on so strong that I feel it vibrating through my very being.

Pray that it isn’t so powerful that it touches my spirit, let alone my soul. I must save my soul from this madness.

Is it the creature, is it the being, that something unseen that calls me, begging for my attention, for my worship. If not, is it all in my mind, has this thing found its way into the folds of my brain?

My fear is that it is trying to destroy me. I fear I am trying to destroy myself.

Not even a strong drink washes the hum of that singular, irregular phrase from my consciousness. Not even covering my ears, burying the sound under the volume of the television, the radio or music helps as the tones echo inside me, and now, not only in my head.

“Cthulhu, I can see your movement,” I said looking into our backyard, beyond the darkness, palpable and horrifying.

“That’s the laundry still on the clothesline,” my wife said.

“No, its Cthulhu. I know it and I’m afraid it’s come for me.”

“If you don’t stop listening to those damn Lovecraft audio books before bedtime, I’ll give you a reason to be afraid. Now get your ass back to bed and keep me warm.”

“You know how to kill a really good science-fiction fantasy.”

“I’m the only fantasy you need, Bub! I have to get up early. Now get some sleep.”

“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn,” I mumble sweetly in her ear.

“I swear to God, Tom…” she growls.

“Okay, okay — I may have pushed it too far that time. Good night.”

Butterfly

She thought the old man had lost his mind along with his ample hard-on as he climbed off her naked ass. He had recognized the brandy-wine birthmark that resembled a butterfly behind her left ear from 19-years before, the day he used his body to shield her from the ensuing gunfire that had killed her mother.

She was only three then and had no memory of her fucking rescuer now.

End of the Feud

For the purpose of this tale, one man shall be called Jones and the other Smith. The two are neighbors, sharing the same property line and yet are anything but neighborly with one another.

For nearly three decades the pair have been feuding over boundary-lines, accusing the other of cutting down trees, stealing the lumber; usurping water from the other; and hunting the wild game that the other claimed belonged to them. And for years, the nearby communities expected to hear at anytime that they had finally shot it out with one or both killed in the melee.

Elk season had begun. It was still dark when word reached the other man’s encampment that the other was trespassing.

A general alarm sounded, with both Smith and Jones unknowingly acting in unison. Each man set out groups of men to scout the area and return with information, that being of the location and the number in each party.

All day, men wandered the forested grounds, the rocky ledges and crags as well as the lower scrub brush with its tall grasses in search of the other’s hunting party. Finally, and with no activity found, men from each camp returned with their lack-luster report.

Jones decided to take care of the problem himself. “I should have done this years ago,” he told himself as he chambered a round in the rifle.

Meanwhile, Smith had come to the same ugly conclusion. “I will hunt him down and shoot him like the mad-dog that he is,” he declared as he shouldered his rifle and walked out of camp.

Soon darkness befell the landscape and to make matters worse, a raging storm had built itself in along the mountains, spreading its high winds into the valleys and woods below. The weather did not dampen the hatred the men felt for one another.

Smith stood still, having heard the cracking sound of a twig breaking under foot. He pressed himself next to a thick, towering tree, certain his quarry was on the other side of it.

Jones was quicker, he stood with rifle at the ready, pressed tight against his shoulder waiting for Smith to spring upon him. Then it happened as both men moved to murder the other, a gale force wind swept over the forest, shattering trees throughout, including the one the pair stood next too.

In the ensuing moments of terror and pain, both men found themselves trapped beneath the tree, broken and sharp pieces of branch and the massive trunk, pinning arms, legs and bodies under its massive size. Broken, bleeding and angry, both men struggled to find the better advantage before slowly coming to the conclusion that he was hopelessly held tight to the earth.

For hours, they called one another names, promising that each would dispatch the other once his men came looking for and found them. It proved to be exhausting work and eventually the pair settled down and began conversing, initially about how they might effect an escape from their present situation, then to the other subject at hand.

“So, do you recall why we started fighting?” was that general topic. Neither man could remember what had begun the feud, but soon they were talking of their childhood and how they had been friend’s at one time, and eventually the silliness of their ongoing battles.

“Let’s put this stupidity to rest,” the two trapped and one time mortal enemies concluded, each vowing to help the other first, when their men came to the rescue.

Both laughed at their situation, trapped beneath a tree neither could move. “I can’t wait to see those town folks faces to see us sitting at the same diner having breakfast on some fine morning,” one said.

“And soon, too,” spoke the other. They laughed some more until the pain was to much to take.

Then they lay there in the dark, as the storm died down, listening. “I hear something. I think it’s our salvation!”

The two men cried, “Over here,” again and again in a single chorus.

“They’re close, I can hear them clearly, but I can’t see them.”

Then they froze, hearts sinking as they each looked at the other realizing, “WOLF!”

A Strange Icon

A Paiute friend called me up, wanting to show me a petroglyph that he found, but didn’t recognize. After seeing it, I must admit that I’ve never seen such an image before.

Despite having a camera-phone and a regular camera between us, neither one would work. Both were drained of their battery power even before we tried taking pictures.

Finally, I made a rough sketch of it. Have you ever seen this image, is it Paiute, Shoshone or from another tribe, and/or do you have any idea what it might represent or mean?

Modus Operandi

While doing some biographical research of a possible suspect in the case of my friend Patty Tigard’s 1976 murder, I stumbled on a June 1911 article about the ax murders of the William Hill family in Ardenwald, Oregon. The killer’s method sounded vaguely familiar, thus piquing my interest.

Call it a side-trail, a rabbit hole or a complete distraction from the task at hand, I began reading newspaper article after newspaper article until I found something useful: Paul Mueller, an immigrant from Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany. Trailing Mueller backwards, using these same news articles, lead me to the May 1901 murder of the J. Wesley Allen family of Shirley, Maine; killed in the same manner as the Hill family in Oregon.

Following article after article on the Allen family murders, I read a name that I’d seen before: Paul Mueller. Evidently, he’d been in the area of the Allen farm and had been chased off by Allen, who is described as being less than friendly to everyone.

In both the Hill and Allen family murders the homes and out buildings were also set ablaze. Investigators at the time believed this was done to cover possible clues in the crime.

These two crimes got me to thinking about another crime, one that has been researched and investigated by criminologists, journalist and even paranormal groups. It is the use of a found ax belonging to the victim that triggered my recollection of the Villisca, Iowa murders.

Sometime between the evening of June 10, 1912, and the early morning of June 11, 1912, the Josiah Moore family and two visiting neighbor girls were found murdered in a similar fashion as the Hills and Allen families. While there is a list of suspects in this particular murder, none were ever convicted of the crime.

As I felt I’d run the course of my little side investigation and was prepared to return to my research on Patty’s murder case, a memory popped in my mind. That thought was about the unsolved March 1922 ax murders of the Andreas Gruber family in modern-day Waidhofen, Bavaria, Germany, better known as the Hinterkaifeck Murders. Further, Mueller’s hometown of Ingolstadt shows that he lives less than 20 miles from Gruber family murders.

“Bingo!” I thought as I got up from my writing desk to do a ‘happy dance, go pee and get some more coffee.’

As I was congratulating myself on a ‘job well done,’ it was then that I saw a footnote to an article that listed the 2017 book, ‘The Man from the Train,’ by Bill James and his daughter Rachel McCarthy James. Their work shows the various connections between Mueller and 39 family murders, totaling 153 victims, going back as far as 1898, near Boston, Massachusetts.

So allow me to lick my wounds, ending with a quote from Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass,’ that leaves me feeling a little bit better about my exercise in futility, “Go on till you come to the end; then stop.”

Reno Rodeo Reflex

The good news: I made it to the Reno Rodeo; the bad news: I forgot to put a battery in my camera. Add to this that I worked hard to smuggle it into the rodeo grounds.

The Reno Rodeo Association has concluded that if you have a camera with a detachable lens, then you’re a professional photographer. This cracks me up, as most cellphones have a built in camera that take far better pictures than most SLR (single lens reflex) cameras manufactured before 2015.

But then the powers that be are always smarter than the rest of us…

Anyway, I did have a device on me, a hand-me-down cellphone that isn’t used as a cellphone, but strictly for taking videos and pictures. I’m working on stitching 40 separate videos together into a short film.

A nice woman gave me a souvenir program, for free. The biggest bummer is that I’m 160-plus on the list for a commemorative belt buckle, while knowing that by day two, they’d already sold all 7,000 buckles produced.

All-in-all, it was fun, save for the firework display that I wasn’t privy too and was less than 50 feet from when touched off. I painted my britches, both coming and going.

Bells of San Javier

Their plan was to set up a small camp, where they could drink some beer, grill steaks and tell stories into the wee-hours of the morning, someplace south and east of the ruins of Fort Churchill. They were Adrian Slett, Howard Philips and Keith Hammond, all native Californians, transplanted to the high desert of Northern Nevada.

Along with the usual camp routines, the trio planned to spend sometime exploring their surroundings. Each held the idea of finding some lost treasure left behind by an old miner, a homesteader or even some soul journeying eastward towards a new and better life in the Golden State.

This was the second time they’d regrouped at the set of rocks jutting up from the hard-pack sand and dried up sage brush. It was close enough to civilization for help, should it come to that and yet far enough away, that the only sound of humanity, other than themselves, were the occasional passenger aircraft speeding over head at some 30-thousand feet.

The second day, at a breakfast of scrambled eggs, burnt toast, ink-black coffee, overly-crisped bacon and under-cooked potatoes, Slett asked, “Did either of you hear whispering last night.”

Philips and Hammond shot looks at one another and responded in unison, “No.”

Hammond, quicker than Philips, added “Jinx! You owe me a coke!” And the pair laughed.

Philips saw Slett’s distressed face and asked, “So, what was it saying, this whisper, do you know?”

“No idea. Jus’ sounded like whispering.”

“Probably the wind blowing through the brush or something,” Hammond joined in.

“Yeah,” Slett smiled, “That and my imagination.”

The day progressed from there as the three companions set out to have a look around the large rock by which they were camped. Hammond had his new metal detector and was eagerly scanning the light brown earth in hopes of making a discover of something, anything, but so far nothing.

“Hey, guys,” Philips shouted, “Look at this!”

The other two hurried over to where Philips was now on his hands and knees looking beneath one of the many smaller rocks that littered the larger rock. They soon could see a slight crawl way beneath the stone and each became eager in his own way to learn what lay behind it.

Gently, they pulled some of the rock fragments away and found bare earth beneath. With a flashlight, it was realized that the hole continued beyond the one rock and possibly continued into the largest rock.

“You should go first Slett, you’re the skinniest of us.”

“Naw, I’m not too thrilled with crawling through tight spaces. I think we ought to search up top and see if we can find a way in from there.”

Soon they were climbing over the natural rock fall, looking into cracks and crevasses for a hidden entrance.

“Over here,” Philips called.

Straight down between another rock and the large rock was a two foot opening, about three feel long. It was not a certainty that the shaft under the first rock led further into a cave of some sort in the larger rock.

Without being asked, Slett slid down the side, between the rocks and climbed into the darkened hole. Hammond dropped the flashlight down to him and Slett waited for the other two to enter their newly found hole.

Once all three were on the ground, they proceeded to venture into the opening of the tunnel.

“It’s natural.”

“It’s not very wide though.”

“And look at how shallow it is.”

The shallowness, the depth of the cave was apparent by the three large bronze bells that rested near the back wall. They were burnished with a green-tint of a mouldering patina, that told them that the bells had been there for years.

“Wow, this could be worth some money.”

“Forget money, this is a great archaeological find.”

“Anyone know what ‘Voq’u’u-lo Zaa-q’ran’ means?”

They looked up at where Slett aimed the flashlight. The words were etched clearly into the obviously smoothed-out cyclopean surface of the rock face above the trio of bells.

“No idea.”

“Is it Spanish or Basque or both?”

“It looks like a warning.”

Philips picked up a fist sized rock and struck the bell nearest him. It made a very dull clanging sound, but was enough to echo about the small cave.

Small pieces of the roof dropped around the three and their newly discovered treasure. Unable to seek protection, each stood where they were and covered their heads.

The falling rocks bounced of the bells and a din continued to rumble about the cavern, bringing down more slag. Eventually, the falling rock stopped and the place grew quiet once more.

“Shit! Don’t do that again!”

“Sorry.”

“Shhh!”

The three men stood motionless, each listening and each hearing a muffled dragging noise, like damp canvass. It came from everywhere and with it roiled a foul odor that none could describe.

“Holy. Mother of..!” one cried as Slett dropped the beam of the flashlight to the ground of the cave.

The dirt and stone floor was alive with the slithering and undulating bodies of snakes, which poured from crevices in the walls and from under the bells. Without another word, the three scrambled for the mouth of the cave and scurried up the wall through the opening they’d located less than half-an-hour earlier.

“Anyone bitten?” Hammond asked breathlessly.

The other two shook their heads vigorously, indicating that they had escaped the vipers pit without being injured. They watched in frightened fascination as hordes of Great Basin Rattlesnakes spread out across the desert, disappearing into the nearby brush and rocky terrain.

By mid-afternoon, the mass of snakes had quit pouring from the cave and all of it’s many nooks and crannies, and the three men felt it safe enough to return to camp and begin carefully dismantling the site, albeit a day early. None were aware of the malevolent figure that stood high above them.

It was Zaa-q’ran, the god of death, who had been patiently awaiting re-release from his prison since the last ringing of the missing bells of San Javier. Slowly the skies began to darken as if a massive sand storm were filling the horizons.

“Anybody else’s eyes burning?”

“Now that you ask, yeah, they are.”

“Mine, too. Let’s get outta here!”

Cold Metal

It surprised McKinnison, the speed at which his quarry could run. He’d tracked Kid Williams to the small cluster of wooden buildings along the desert hillside and he aimed to bring the murderer to justice.

McKinnison lost his man between two buildings that lead from the back of the settlement to the dusty, dirt path that served as a street. In the distance all he could hear was the tap, tap, tap of the blacksmith’s hammer.

Slowly he inched his way between the buildings, onto the boards of the walkway and towards the sound of the hammer on metal that seemed to beat to the rhythm of his own heart beat. At the blacksmith’s shop, a man stood, back to the door over hot coals, bellow pumping air to feed the fire.

The same man returned to the anvil and began tapping out the same melodic beat McKinnison had heard before. He started to move on, but paused realizing that something seemed off.

“Hands where I can see’um, Kid,” he ordered.

The would-be smitty stopped, lifting his head and glancing over his right shoulder, “What gave me away?”

“You can’t shape cold metal,” McKinnison said, “Now, hands up and move into the light of the doorway.”

His request was met with Williams spinning quick to his left, six-shooter in his right hand, flashing as it spit lead in the direction of the lawman. But McKinnison was quicker than the outlaw as a single bullet pierced the up left of his chest, the area becoming crimson immediately.

Williams did not immediately fall. Instead he stumbled into the darkness of the shop, as if hiding like a wild animal before collapsing on his back. McKinnison moved through the doorway and stood over the fallen man to look into his dead-eyes and face.

“Told ya Kid, you can’t shape cold metal,” he sighed.

Some Needed T-L-C

My sister, Deirdre sent me two hefty boxes of personal effects that belonged to our Mom. She’s had them in storage since mom’s death in 2002.

While a bit overwhelming, I am devising a plan to archive much of it as it consists of old family pictures, newspaper clipping, postcards and such. In fact I’ve already taken the liberty to salvage the 82-year-old newspaper clipping regarding my Great-Grandma Rosa’s murder, which has never been treated right since the day it was first published.

The best I could do is clip off the ragged edges from where it was torn from the paper back in 1937, and using Elmer’s Glue-All and heavy black archival paper, glue it down and flatten out the crease where it had been fold and unfolded so much that some of the newsprint has fallen away. There are so many more clippings like the one below that need ‘T-L-C.’

Eighty-two-years! There are a number of pieces to this story that need fitting together like a jigsaw puzzle, and I have plans to write about this at a later date, but first, I have some boxes to finish going through.

One penny is a single reality. A second penny is another reality, different from the first. If the two pennies are rubbed together, then separated, do they leave behind traces of themselves on the other and are you jus’ as broke? Asking for Rick Sanchez and ‘Doc’ Brown.

A-51-L-9 Test Notes

7 June 2019 –
Anthropomorphic Test Device completed first reverse jump, phased 180-degrees mid-transfer, file footage on demand from ATDs on board recorders, optimal, phase in/phase out, 60-seconds, data under review.

10 June 2019 –
Second ATD reverse jump completed, 60″ pi/po, OBRs optimal, FFOD, parallax displacement, 0 to 180-degrees, DUR.

13 June 2019 –
Trials suspended pending corrective action: PD of ADT needs solution, without correction, sustainable reverse/forward jumps with Live Test Subjects unobtainable.

17 June 2019 —
PD solution: angle ATD 180-degrees for allowance of refractive perception from point ‘A’/point ‘B’, suspension lifted, engineers refitting module frame for 0-180 mobility mid-jump.

21 June 2019 –
ATD transitioned from ‘A’/’B’, ‘B’/’A’, 0-0 PD, 60″ pi/po, OBRs optimal, FFOD, DUR.

Storm Grate

He stared at the carbon storm grate that adorned the area below the sidewalk, with its checkerboard-squared spaces and came upon an unusual epiphany. The grate no longer was that for straining large items from the gutters flow, but rather a magnificent box with 100 boxes of fantastical possibilities.

Deeper downward, he envisioned each box holding this life, the lives of all, each in a separate reality, one divided from the other, thousands of iterations.

The Thing in the Mine

Sadly, I’ve traded one world where slow death was a certainty, for another where only a slow death is a certain. Perhaps, you can tell which I would rather suffer, though the outcome is no doubt comes with a sameness.

The morning began bright and clear, but by the time mid-day arrived, I found myself standing in the open under a violent thunderstorm. Sheets of stinging rain aside, I feared being struck dead by the fingertips of Thor.

A long abandoned mine became my wanted shelter as I fled to its entrance. There for over two hours I watched as the skies above and around me continued to flash.

Boredom and a wandering mind set in. I pulled my flashlight from my knapsack and proceeded to explore the slight shaft.

Less than two-minutes in, I spotted it, The white line of stone that told that a vein of gold lay nearby. It didn’t take long for me to locate that as well.

Smiling at my good fortune, I followed it deeper and deeper into the tunnel system. My, god! It was long and thick in some places, wider than my thumb and so I continued.

It crossed itself twice and both times I came upon other shafts that had been created to access to larger pockets, now gone. Engrossed in this, I lost my way and though I could see the bright line of white accompanied by the green and gold lure of great wealth, I could not find my way back to the entrance.

An hour turned to several and those several fell in order to a day, but I could tell neither from this man-made tomb I had accidentally become victim, too. And then soon thereafter, my flashlight, my only source of light began to fade.

Though I turned it off to conserve what power the batteries held, it proved useless as they eventually failed. With them, hope failed and I sat down where I stood.

Around my waist was my final comfort, my pistol. Decidedly, if it came to a long period of starvation and thirst, I would fire it but once and only the one time.

The Boogeyman man is a feature of childhood, meant to hold a child in line with the moral and corporal wishes of adults. As an adult, the Boogeyman is a frightening being, that in pitch black, becomes as real as a wild animal in the forest of one’s mind.

In the distance, echoing and plodding, I could hear the slight footfall of another being. It was some distance off, so I had more than ample time to toy with the child still left in me.

“Hallo!” I shouted repeatedly certain that my brain was playing tricks on me and that I was hearing only a rescuer or two moving my way.

Nothing. After a while I stopped and call out no more, sad in the idea that my wife had not missed me yet and had not given my location to the authorities for possible rescue.

But, still the persistent sound of foot steps came echoing down the tight corridor of the shaft in which I sat. Perhaps a bear or maybe a mountain lion had found their way inside and having discover my scent, had become keen on an easy meal.

My pistol rested in my lap, finger ready to defend myself if needed. A dead animal, freshly killed and though raw, would provide nourishment for my weakening body and I would gladly dine on such.

There it was again. My eyes blind to the sights about me, my ears had taken over and that issued the alert to my brain, that indeed, something was moving ever closer and closer to me.

The sounds, in fact, were real and I now understood this. They echoed gently from rocky-wall to rocky-wall notifying me that I was under threat.

As quietly as humanly possible, I lifted my pistol, thumbed back the hammer and waited. Waited for the thing to finally be on top of me.

Now! My brain screamed. The flash of the barrel left me blinded – but in the instantaneous, but brief illumination I saw my intended target.

The sound echoed like a deafening thunderclap and I was rendered unable to hear or see what happened next. To both my extreme happiness and my shuddering horror, I was rescued by a party of five men, sent deep into the mine to extract me.

However, only four of those brave men would exit alive. I had murdered one as he made his way down the shaft I was sitting in.

“He didn’t have his lamp on, so how was I supposed to know he wasn’t a wild animal?!” I asked the judge as he sentenced me to a quarter century in prison; at my age, a certain death sentence.

Meanwhile, the powers that be grow rich off the vein of gold I’d located. A vein of gold that has cost more than one man his life.

Kidnapped

“You’re gonna be locked in here with only that bed and piss-pot until your ransom is paid. I’ll be back in a while with a tray of food. Don’t try and escape. Do you understand?” her kidnapper instructed as he removed the zip-ties that bound her hands.

“Oh, my god! You mean, sleep, food and silence!” she exclaimed.

The masked kidnapper glared at the mother of the three young children.

“I mean – oh, no – that’s bad,” she states, before adding, “And I won’t try and escape, I promise.”

The kidnapped simply shook his head before closing and locking the door.

Fade

https://soundcloud.com/tom-darby-79984072/fade

There is a road you must know, living in my home town,
Called Redwood Drive, it will take you both up or down.
No street lamps along the way, in helping you to get by.
Turn east off Highway 101, a fire station to your left side,
An old church at the end, homes numbered seven and five.
Stars do shine with a heavenly grace, so look to the skies,
Those tall trees, absorb ocean breezes, high and low tide.
No finer place can be, filled with recollections, all so alive.
There is no better expanse for growing, learning, to thrive.
O, let us go play before my mind fades of Redwood Drive.

Christopher Sean David, 2000-2019

Christopher is my biological child. Below is the original obituary as written by his loving family…

On Saturday, March 16, 2019, our beloved Christopher Sean David passed from this life surrounded by his family at Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

He was born on Dec. 13, 2000, in Reno, Nevada, to Christine Mattingly Hesselman. On June 27, 2004, he and his mother married Charles David. The family moved to Trona, California, and then to Kalispell where, on July 25, 2007, his Daddy Charlie adopted him, making him “officially” Christopher David. A happier boy would have been hard to find!

Christopher attended schools in Kalispell, Polson and Hamilton and will graduate June 2, 2019, from Hamilton High School.

He participated in Christmas plays at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, “The Night Before Christmas” with Port Polson Players and Special Olympics, earning several medals and awards in swimming, track and bowling. Video games were his favorite and he was good at them.

At 16, he became an organ donor. He would be so very proud to know that his donation has made lives better for possibly 80 people.

Upon leaving the Kalispell Regional Medical Center hospital, Christopher was afforded an Honor Walk through the halls. Doctors estimated that 300 hospital staff, friends and family lined the halls for the walk and that not in 16 years had they seen such a turn out for an Honor Walk.

We wish to thank all who helped Christopher through his life struggles with the positive influence, support and love they provided him. You are forever in our hearts and we are forever grateful for the support and happiness you’ve added to Christopher’s life.

Christopher is survived by his parents, Charles and Christine David, his brothers John and Danny, and aunt, Johna Smith, all of Las Vegas; grandparents, John and Sheri David of Polson, Carolyn and Glenn Waddell, Pat and Sue Mattingly and Betty Matlin, aunts and uncles, Gena Mattingly, Julie (Taylor) Reasonen, Patricia and Shane Parker, Donna and Gene Bonfoey, James and Linda Mattingly, Lewis Mathis, Victor Mathis and Gene Mathis, and many cousins.

A celebration of life and potluck dinner is scheduled for 2 p.m. June 8, at the Polson Elks Club, 512 Main St., Polson, MT 59860.

Friends are encouraged to visit the website at http://www.buffalohillfh.com to leave notes of condolence for the family. Buffalo Hill Funeral Home and Crematory is caring for the family.

Bubba, the Albino Brown Bear

Time and again, Bubba the albino Brown Bear found himself being ‘rescued’ by some group of hapless humans and removed from his comfortable woodland habitat. And every time, he’d wake up to find himself alone and pissed-off, posited in the freezing cold clime of the polar ice cap.

And every time, Joe screamed, “FUUUUUCK! Not again!”

Glorious Mourning

He had awaken before the sun came up as was his usual routine. He sat at the computer catching up on the news from late yesterday and into the current morning, followed by writing, watching to videos and listening to short podcasts.

Shortly after that certain golden orb made itself known, Brexley retreated to the bathroom, where he showered and dressed. He often saw bathing as the official start to each day and today was no different.

“What a glorious day,” he stated as he drew back the curtain to the sliding glass door that overlook his small backyard patio.

He returned to his room and traded out the jeans he was wearing for a pair of shorts before heading back to the sliding glass door to open it. The sky was clear and the air, warm and not the slightest hint of a breeze.

Brexley returned to his office to retrieve his coffee cup from where he’d left it the evening before. A message flashed in the corner of his computer screen and he paused to open the link.

A new video, an hour and 20 minutes long. He walked into the kitchen, filled his cup with coffee, heated it the minute and ten seconds it took to bring the dark brown fluid back to life and then returned to his office and the computer screen.

It was a very good video, subject matter aside, which was about missing and possibly murdered people, it was well produced and shed light on what had happened and where the investigation stood at present. He had long since drained his cup and decided he’s like to have a second cup, something that was not part of his usual routine.

That’s when he saw all the papers scattered across the hard wood floor from the kitchen table. He’d not realized that the wind had picked up and was causing havoc with the piles of bills and other mail that had been resting on the table.

Brexley quickly gathered everything up, placed them on the table and added a handheld calculator a top to keep them in place. He walked over to the glass door and stepped outside briefly.

The wind was approaching gale-force as it had snapped off a few of the smaller branches from the 20-year-old Aspen tree in the corner of his yard, and deposited them in the neatly groomed grass below. Further, the wind was now hot, very dry and unforgiving when breathed in; much like the Santa Ana winds he’d come to know and so well known in southern California.

But this was northern Nevada.

High shapeless, clouds now filled the once powder blue skies of that morning. Amid their flat, grayness were the unmistakable tracings of aircraft trails; high ones that came out thinly or sometimes invisibly, but which widened into fat, rolling cloud-like lines, thus adding to the over-all gray.

Brexley sighed and stepping back inside, closed and barred the door, then slid the heavy drape across the glass blocking out the remaining light. He sat down at his dinner table in the darkened room and mourned the glorious day that had been, forgetting about that second cup of coffee.

Bid Time Return 1979

There’s something awe-inspiring when fiction (especially time-travel) and non-fiction (actual historical events) criss-cross. Begun in 1995, but left unfinished following Christopher Reeves riding accident, I’d heard five or six years prior about how ‘Somewhere in Time,’ screenwriter/author Richard Matheson, came up with his story-line.

In 1975, while visiting Piper’s Opera House in Virginia City, Nevada he saw a photograph of the late actress Maude Adams. Having become smitten with her, and using her penchant for reclusiveness as a focal point, he created Elise McKenna, Richard Collier and William Fawcett Robertson.

However, and since Robertson’s character never came with a full backstory and odd things were said by and about him, I’ve always fancied him a time-traveler, too. Thus, I created a new story-ending some 24-years in the making (or is it 39-years…)

Robertson stood quietly beside the partially opened door, allowing only a fracture of light from the hallway to stab its way into the vacant hotel room. He knew Collier would be walking by at any moment, all he had to do was listen.

Collier’s steps were heavy on the stairway and even heavier as he rounded the corner leading to the main hallway. Robertson palmed the penny in his left hand and waited for the younger man to pass by.

Suddenly, Robertson sprang on Collier, striking him hard in the head with his right fist. The blow, though landing directly against Collier’s temple, did not immediately knock the man down as intended.

Robertson fell on top of Collier, striking him again and again. It was not Robertson’s intent to inflict harm on the man, rather to simply keep him confused so as to slip the coin into one of the man’s pockets.

Having finally succeeded, Robertson stood up and backed away. To his surprise, Collier rushed him, fists swinging.

One of the blows struck Robertson in the jaw, driving him backwards and to the carpeted floor. His head swimming, all he could see was the younger man towering over him, directing him to get up and fight or perhaps instructing the dazed man to stay away.

It did not matter to Robertson what the message was as he rolled over and using the wall, climbed to his feet and stumbled towards the lift at the far end of the opposite hallway. As he retreated, the ringing in his ears subsided and he could suddenly hear Elise crying from someplace behind him.

This was Robertson’s fifth jump into the past. He knew that there was no way to know how he might have altered Miss McKenna’s future, until he returned to his own time.

Once outside and far enough away from the Grand Hotel and the possibility of being seen, Robertson withdrew another coin from his pocket and held it up so that the reflective glow of the moon fell upon its shiny face. Robertson first looked at the great man’s profile, Abraham Lincoln, then to the date, ‘1979.’

He felt the uncomfortable pull of gravity and the dizzying slide in his mind as he twisted backward to the date on the copper-colored penny. He soon awoke in the deep-underground Laboratory Nine of Area 51 in southern Nevada, having returned from 1912 and laid there looking up at the several faces of the many concerned scientists.

After a few hours of rest, Robertson readjusted to the confusing effects of moving between space and time. The journeys back-and-forth had left a toll on him and he was informed that he would never again be allowed to travel either forward or backward in time again as it may cost him his sanity, since the process used nothing more than the mind and self-hypnosis.

“I’m sorry,” Project Director Matheson said, “But we still weren’t able to redirect the past, creating a different future for McKenna. Seems her fame piqued and she faded into obscurity exactly as she always has following the last four jumps.”

“Well, we gave it a good shot,” Robertson relied, “I’m happy to know that mankind is still far to small to have any real effect on the world’s outcome, either now or in the past. Any idea yet on how Collier is making his jumps?”

“Me, too,” Matheson said, as he looked over the pages of compiled notes, before answering, “There’s a rumor that he’s freelancing, using a book by Jack Finney called ‘Time and Again,’ as some sort of instruction manual.”

“Finney, the sci-fi novelist?” Robertson said with an air of incredulity, before adding with a smile, “You know, with a good writer and editor, all of this would make a damned good piece of science-fiction work.”

Matheson snickered, “Yeah, maybe.”

“You could call it, ’Bid Time Return,'” Robertson grinned.

“That’s what I like about you — you’re always thinking ahead,” Matheson said, looking up at the man entering the room behind Robertson.

The time-traveler never heard the man, nor the explosion the bullet made as it blasted from the barrel of the gun, piercing the back of his head. History would never recall his name.

Gauromyda

The day began as any other. We caught the school bus and after riding half an hour north picking up other kids, we turned south doing the same, finally arriving at the grade school, tucked back off the highway in a small valley.

Soon, school would be out for the summer, however the thought and excitement of vacation was filled with an abstract fearfulness. The sky of our school was filled with flying bugs, biting each child that spent any time in the sun and who hadn’t retreated to the shade of the nearby building.

The sound of crying could be heard of those who had been attacked and swarmed without mercy. Many of us entered the bathrooms from the outside doors, only to find the inside doors leading to the hallways locked.

Soon the bathrooms were crowded with children, both boys and girls sharing the same space, all fearful of the growing swarms outside the doorways. When the bell rang telling us that recess was over, there was a hesitation to leave our sanctuary.

“Where are the teachers?”

“They don’t care about us!”

“Don’t they see them?”

Finally, two kids decided that they didn’t want to get in trouble and went outside towards the doorway that lead to their classrooms. Their screams and cries could be heard, echoing down the cement walkways and walls of the school yard, until they faded to whimpers then silence.

Finally, someone unlocked the inside doors and frightened children poured into the hallways. Many, crying, called for their parents, while others in shock, simply slunk against the walls or sank to the floor, too fearful to move any farther.

In the distance we could hear the flying insects dance, their legs and wings tapping along the windows of the sunshine side of the ‘L’ shaped building. That dancing eventual became loud thumps as the insects continuously dove headlong into the thin pieces of glass that separated us from them.

It wasn’t too long after when the violent shattering of glass was heard. It began as a dull crackling sound, growing louder until the smashing of fragmented glass reverberated throughout the hallways.

Along with that breaking of glass, came the shrieks and deafening screams of terrified children and teacher, knowing that the winged horde had found their way inside our retreat. However, they never came for us — and instead were found dead the next morning when we were finally met by rescuers and parents alike.

The lack of sunshine had been our unwilling savior, though no one every could explain why a lack of sun lead to their extermination. Gladly, they never made it from the classroom that they first entered and as nighttime fell, they died en mass, their black bodies littering every corner of our little lives.

“I saw three soldiers from the nearby military installation using flamethrowers to fight the swarms off,” Dad later told us in somber and hushed tones, “The burning bugs started a number of grass and house fires. When their tanks finally ran out, I couldn’t watch what happened to them.”

He refused to talk about it until the day he died.

And to this day, no one talks about it. There’s no record of it in the newspaper and it only exists in the memories of those who were there and sadly we are growing old, dying off, knowing that one day soon, no one will be left who remembers.

The God Particle

There’s a large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, capable of synthesizing the particle known as the Higgs-Boson.  There’s also one at ‘Area 51,’ the super top-secret site that has grown out of the dry-salt flats of the Groom Lake Test Facility, in southern Nevada.

The collider forces particles, ‘fired’ at each other, into creating outbursts of radiation when smashed together, that some equate with the ‘big bang theory.’  Others call these outbursts the ‘God Particle.’

It was once thought that matter could only exist in one place at a time, however the particle slit test of progenitors proved otherwise. A particle accelerator is used to eject protons between one of two microscopic slits.

It was assumed that the protons would pass through either slit A or slit B, and when directly observed, the premise was corroborated. However, when an imprint background was installed to bypass direct observation, it found an unexpected detail.

The particles produced what is known as a wave, or interference pattern on the imprint like ripples in a pond. This means that the particles interfere with themselves while simultaneously passing through both and neither of the slits.

It was at first thought to be a false-negative, but thousands of repeated experiments all reached the same conclusion. There is no denying that matter can exist in more than one place at a time and that reality is altered simply by perceiving it.

With electrical stimuli and coordinate based geo-synchronization, manipulations of these particles, transferring locations were made. When combined with a suitable processor and digital interface, it soon began decoding encryption and translating mathematical cipher in a fraction of the time of anything before it.

With a binary converter, it wasn’t long before human physiology itself was deciphered and converted into convenient little anagrams and simplistic formulas. This gave the machine the ability to replicate human tissue and organs from fetal stem cells.

And it wasn’t just organic material either.  By rearranging the number of protons in the atomic nucleus, the given element’s atomic weight was altered, thereby turning it into another element altogether.

This led to testing other hypothesis’s.

It took months of development, but soon a simulation program was created. It was modeled to be an exact copy of our world.

Test subjects interacted to their own ‘loved ones’ within the program. Post-interviews showed that no one could perceive that they were in a simulation.

Two questions were raised from these simulations and a new task given: how did we know that our own universe was not the result of the same process and is our reality a simulation? To answer them, instructions came to develop the ability to break through the boundaries of our suspected simulation and make contact with whoever or whatever.

Our reality is based on laws; motion, attraction, an of physics and cannot be broken accidentally, but through quantum technology, they can be manipulated. Further, the two concepts of space and time are synchronous: where there is space there is time and where there is time there is space.

One of the earlier discoveries made is the concept of time reversal.

The opposite of matter isn’t nothing, but anti-matter, which is the material that fills all the gaps where matter does not. So, if an opposite of matter exists, then an opposite of time must does too.

With the quantum computer and particle super-positioning, the ability exists to send protons back in time, causing them to appear where they once had not and in two places simultaneously. These are the operational parameters which were set within the computer.

A seed was placed in a container within the chamber, with the idea of reversing the symbiotic metabolism, causing it to revert to a zygote state. Seconds after the power was turned on,  the seed shrank to the point it was no longer visible with the naked eye.

The computer alerted those concerned that the task had been completed. But suddenly, warning sirens began sounding and light started flashing.

A single program loading bar came up on the computer’s main monitor.

All attempts to restrict the download failed. Finally, orders were issued to shutdown the computer, but it continued without an external power source.

The progress bar soon signaled that the download had finished and the message, “Unknown file type. Do you wish to execute the file?” flashed across the monitor. All attempts made to bypass the prompt failed, so with nothing else to do, directions were given: open it.

The computer rendered the file, taking eight minutes and 10 seconds. Entirely in binary code, it eventually translated to the single message: “אהיה אשר אהיה” — Hebrew for, “I will be who I will be.”

The Midnight Ice Cream Truck

For the third time in as many weeks, I’ve been awaken by the sound of an ice cream truck rolling down our street, playing some god-awful out of tune tin-penny piano music. Because of this I walked five houses up the block to our new neighbors, who have an old ice-cream truck parked next to their driveway.

After inquiring if he’d been driving it around late at night, he told me that he hadn’t because the vehicle no longer runs. He also told me that he too, had heard the music and simply assumed it was some kids thinking they were being funny.

“Maybe you’re right,” I acknowledged as I thanked him and returned home.

At least I know I’m not going nuts as my neighbor has heard the music too. So I decided to forget about it because in the long run, it was small stuff and why sweat it.

Laughing it off as a prank, I mentioned it on social media. Then some one listed only as ‘Unknown User’ sent me this audio file of the creepy-as-hell music.

Kinda left me spooked…

Then, last night, it came again. This time though, the music neither seemed to fade or increase as if the vehicle were coming and going.

Instead, when I finally got out of bed to look, I saw it simply sitting in the middle of the street and in front of our home. When whomever saw me looking out the blinds, they slowly drove away, the broken tin-penny piano fading away with them.

Surprisingly, they returned an hour later.

This time the dome light was on in the cab of the truck and the side window was open and lit. As I peered at the truck with it awful music still playing, I witnessed a clown walking back and forth in the work area of the vehicle and another in the driver’s seat.

‘You cream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream,’ is one thing — but this is down-right frightening, damn it! I quickly went to my closet and retrieved my shot-gun, but by the time I returned to the front room window, the truck and the clowns were gone.

Since then I’ve called the law, who promise to increase patrols and I’ve bought and installed security cameras and motion-sensitive lighting. I fervently hope this is all a prank and furthermore, I pray that no parent would allow their child out of the house to visit the truck because I have an uneasy feeling when it comes to this situation.

I promise to keep you up-to-speed if anything becomes of these incidents and of course, if you see or hear an ice cream truck making the rounds about midnight through your neighborhood, I expect to hear from you as well…

The Gap

While surveying the gap, he felt himself shoved forward. He quickly slid in, penetrating a vast darkness. Over and over again, he tried to escape. The exertion left him violently sick. He was deflated by the time he was yanked from the pit.

Nine months later…

Skin

It was around one in the morning and I was doing my last patrol through the second construction site. Since my last encounter, I had begun parking in better lighted areas, not that it would help much other than to lessen my anxieties, which were practically off the charts.

As I pulled up under the street light down the street from the site’s entrance, I reached back for my lunch bag, only to be interrupted by the radio.

“We have a silent alarm in the southwest corner of Building ‘B,’ at Site Two” the dispatcher said.

I sighed and replaced my lunch, slipped the vehicle into drive and headed towards the site, “Damn it! And I jus’ check that area.”

As I pulled up to the front of the building and opened my door, Charlie-dog bolted from the cab, racing right over me. I shouted for him to stop, to come back, but it did no good.

“Shit,” I thought, “Now I’m out here alone with those things.”

Then I heard the sound of growling. It wasn’t jus’ any growling either; it was the type of sound that a dog makes when it has it’s teeth clamped tight on on something and is tugging at it.

I quickly hurried towards the sound.

But by the time I located it, Charlie had someone by the throat, savagely thrashing back and forth like he was trying to rip the person’s head off. Meanwhile, the guy was trying to push him back, but Charlie kept lunging in at him whenever he lost her grip.

By the time I pulled Charlie off the man, I was certain he was going to die from his injuries. But the guy clambered to his feet, even though much of his skin was ripped away and hanging along his right shoulder.

How he was still conscious, let alone alive, I had no idea. Then man started fingering at the torn skin around his neck and shoulder, peeling it away.

As he pulled and the skin came away, he continued down his right shoulder and then along his arm, until he had peeled away much of his chest. Underneath was another skin, this one a pale-gray, slick with blood, and fitting closely to the body.

The outside skin fell to the cement floor, sounding like a wet diving suit fresh from the ocean. As I recoiled from the sickening sound, and continued to struggle with a nearly wild Charlie-dog, the creature bolted into the darkness.

Bodily picking Charlie up, I rushed back to the truck, tossed him in the cab, climbed in behind him and drove out of the lot. It took me several minutes to compose myself enough to radio in that I found nothing, though I was sure I’d ‘heard a dog trotting around the area.’

Later that morning, I switched on the clock-radio by my bedside, listening in surprise as the woman announced, “Area law enforcement are busy this morning responding to reports of missing persons. So far nearly 100 reports have been filed.  They also say that a rash of strange, what are being described as skins, have been found in various locations throughout the region. It hasn’t been confirmed or denied if the two situations are connected. In other news…”

Shutting off the radio, I set my alarm then patted Charlie-boy, as he lay snuggled up against me on the bed, whispering, “You’re a good boy, Charlie.”

His tail thumped softly at the sound of his name.

Party-line

They’d been on the telephone for an while when he heard light breathing. He held his breath as she continued talking.

“You should tell your kid sister to hang up your other phone,” he said, irritated at the idea of someone eavesdropping on their conversation.

She paused before answering, “We don’t have another phone.”

“Then where’s that…” he started to protest, when he suddenly heard the unmistakable click of the telephone receiver in his kitchen being place on the cradle.

Sitting in the upstairs hallway on that phone, he knew he was the only one supposed to be at home.

Abraham’s Blade

The sanctuary was quiet as Mike sat talking to God and studying the broken man affixed to the large cross hanging on the wall above the alter. And though it was quiet, he never heard him enter and take the seat right behind him.

“I have been sent to answer your prayers,” came the voice.

It was so sudden, that Mike jumped and spun around. He watched as a glowing figure slowly manifest before him.

The fear must have been easy to see in his eyes, as this figure said, “Do not fear for I am an Angel.”

The homeless man froze as wings spread from the shining body, casting a shadow over Mike’s unshaven face.

“Why do you wish to die?” the Angel asked.

Ashamed, Mike answered, “My life has no purpose and I’m simply a waste of humanity, space and breathe.”

“Would it not be better if you were to ask for purpose in your life?”

“Perhaps, but I can’t seem to get an answer.”

“Then allow me to give you that answer…if you’re willing?”

“Yes.”

Without another word, the Angel gently wrapped his wings around Mike, pulling him so tightly against it’s body that Mike couldn’t breath. Then he saw the flash of the blade, but too late, as it penetrated his rib cage.

There was no pain as the Angel released him and allowed the mortally wounded man to slip to the cool stone tile. Mike opened his eyes to look at the murderous Angel, knowing he’d been tricked.

In its place stood the dark red features of a dragon, bony outspread wings, covered in a thin, scaly and oily membrane and short, thick horns affixed to its forehead. Mike gasped for words, but nothing came.

“You wanted purpose,” it laughed, “and now – you have it.”

Mike felt for the blade, still hilted in his chest, and slowly drew it from his failing lung.

“That’s the blade Abraham was supposed to use on his son, Issac. When that failed, I stole it from him.”

Again the beast laughed, only longer and more guttural, bellowing “And now it is yours – use it wisely my little fool – go forth and slaughter!”

Before Mike could get to his feet, the thing that stood over him, vanished, leaving behind only the foul stench of burnt sulfur and brimstone. With renewed strength and desire, Mike crawled to his knees, then staggered to his feet.

He stood there, holding the blade. Mike quickly looked at his blood soaked shirt and checked the wound beneath it; it was already healed jus’ as he supposed it would be.

His strength having fully returned, Mike walked over to the large fount and dropped the blade into the holy water. He stood there, watching as the blade bubbled and fizzed, before reaching into the water to retrieve it.

As he grabbed, Mike felt an over-sized clawed hand grab him by his left shoulder and yank him back, spinning him about.

“What have you done, my little fool?” roared the beast.

The beast picked Mike off the floor by his head. And though surprised at the sudden onset of violence, he plunged the still wet blade into the beast’s midsection.

The beast stepped back in surprise, howling long and low before vaporizing into a dark and putrid smelling mist then into nothingness. On the floor, lay Abraham’s blade.

Mike picked it up, withdrew a piece of leather from his back pocket, and gently wrapped the blade in it. Then he removed his blood stained shirt and shook his wings free of their confinement before gliding towards the heavens.

Archangel Michael had won another round with evil and finally, after several millennia had even recovered Abraham’s missing blade. The boss would be happy.

Talk

Speech, it had been how the old man had made his living at one time. Mostly alone now he did not talk much, and when he did words tumbled slowly outward with long and painfully drawn pauses where no comma or period should be – empty spaces filled by silence.

Isolation comes with a staggering price.

When Grim Grins

The Marine Corps sniper lay still, trigger-finger slightly touching the thing inside the guard. His spotter lay next to him, field glasses pressed against his cheek bones, before whispering, “On my signal — send him to Hell.”

The Grim Reaper stood off to the side, unseen, but grinning widely.

Day at the Beach

The Higgins Boat slapped hard on the choppy swells as it motored forward across the open seas and towards the beach code-named ‘Omaha.’ He felt seasick within moments and soon the large breakfast the Navy had fed him was washing back and forth on the bottom of the boat with the vomit of others experiencing the same.

Half-an-hour later came the call from the Coxswain, “Standby to disembark!”

Men who had been talking seconds before, fell quiet, some crossed themselves and mumbled prayers. Others, like 19-year-old Johnny Geiger, slid the bolts back on their Garand and charged the weapon.

Then THUMP! The craft came to an abrupt halt and the forward facing ramp dropped into the surf. Out of it spilled men into a thick cross fire from the Nazi’s MG-42’s.

Those that didn’t fall dead at the first raking of the machine gun fire, found themselves in the freezing ocean, over their chests. Johnny grabbed the dead and floating body of a man and used it as cover and an aid to wade to shore.

Coughing up water and breathing heavy, he watched as men dropped in the sand, torn to pieces by gunfire and explosions. Johnny huddled against a large steel hedgehog, placed in the sand to keep Allied forces from advancing tanks and other mechanized units onto the beach head.

Suddenly, a blast, only a few feet away, lifted the terrified young man off the ground and slammed him back into the surf. The shock-wave left him in a state of confusion and it took him a few seconds to not only clear his head but to actually understand what he was seeing.


“Oh, mon dieu, Louis!” a frightened woman screamed in French.

Louis raced to the waters edge to pick up his son, who had disappeared momentarily underwater only to reappear in the arms of a young man dressed in full battle gear, only to have the soldier disappear into the waves the following second, leaving his son safe.

“As-tu vu ça?” she cried as her husband handed their little boy to her.

“Oui, mais je ne peux pas l’expliquer,” he answered, shaking his head in disbelief.


The beach was filled with tourists; gone were the dead and dying, soldiers, the gun-fire and explosions and the sky was blue with sunshine beaming down where once he’d seen cloudy overcast gloom. Johnny had no time to think about the sudden change as he saw a small child floating in the surf.

Instinctively, Johnny reached over and yanked the child next to his body. He curled over it in such a way as to protect the little boy from the murderous gunfire that tore up the beach as he watched a man wearing nothing more than swimming shorts race towards he and the child.

And as Johnny began to scramble to his feet, another shell tore into the sand and close by, sending both he and the little boy tumbling violently through the air. When Johnny recovered, the boy was gone.

Panicked, he searched for the child, then knowing there was nothing more he could do, scrambled across the open beach, rejoining his unit as they prepared to assault one of pillboxes embedded on the cliff-side. Johnny looked back, chalking it up to the stress of battle.

Forever Together

“Forever together,” he glared as he squeezed the trigger.

The bullet ripped through my face but failed to kill or render me immediately unconscious. So I heard the gun discharge a second time and his body drop hard to the linoleum beside me.

When I woke, I had the nastiest headache and foul taste in my mouth. Looking around, I wondered how emergency crews had missed me as my would-be murderer was no longer in the room.

Dizzy and disoriented, I stumbled to the hospital. There I found him, in a bed, head wrapped in clean gauze, tubes and wires hanging off of him.

Quietly, I sat in the chair next to him, waiting for him to awaken. As he stirred, I ran my graying, swollen and cold hand along his forearm.

He looked at me, eye as wide as any I’d ever seen, as I whispered through my broken jaw and jagged teeth, “Forever together.”

Phosphorescent

Stopping only long enough to take a picture, I turned around to find my party had moved further into the cave. My attempt to follow their direction was met with a fork in the path.

Left or right; I chose right.

After a while, I decided I’d taken the wrong path. It was then that I decided to wait to be rescued.

As I stood there, I was bathed in the faint glow of a million phosphorescing gems. Some winking, others twinkled as I turned my camera towards the shiny specks, setting off my flash.

Rescue would never find me.

Huh?

Everything was fine until tragic event/nothing happened. It was normal. Until I found a mild curiosity. I asked insert friend/family member and they didn’t know anything about it. I explored further and found more mysteries/monster. If anyone knows anything about this please tell me/ it is still out there.

Quit Drinking

“You really don’t want me to quit.”

“Yes, I do.”

“No – I promise you, you wouldn’t like me.”

“I don’t like you when you’re drinking!”

“I know, but that person’s a far better one than I am without alcohol.”

“I don’t believe you – you’re jus’ making up excuses to drink.”

“No – I’ve only one reason to drink.”

“Yeah, what’s that?”

“You know the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?”

“What of it?”

“I’m the opposite of those two and because I’ve been drinking, I’m Mr. Hyde.”

“You’re full of shit!”

“Okay, I’ll stop drinking – but remember — I warned you.”

It’s not pulling the sword from stone that’s difficult, it’s putting it back after learning about the crap that comes with possessing the damned thing.

Walk-in

Having jus’ finished taking my shower, I dried off and rehung my towel. I walked across the carpet entering the walk-in closet and reached for the string-cord leading to the single bulb.

There was a sudden and bright pop. I did my best to blink away the little dots that flooded my eyesight.

That’s when I saw him and his crooked little smile. He held a kitchen knife in one hand and a taser in the other.

At that moment, I wasn’t sure which I found more frightening, his implements or the fact that like me, he was also naked.

Nevada’s Senate Backdoors the Second Amendment

After amending the first 12 pages of the 34 page AB291 and posting it to the state’s website less than an hour before a supposed public hearing, the Nevada Senate voted in favor of a firearms preemption bill that allows different jurisdictions to have different laws and also creates a Red Flag law. First off, the addition is in violation of the Nevada Constitution that says bills must be of a single subject nature.

The addition to AB291 also takes away a person’s lawful right to bear arms without due process, leaving them unable to defend themselves in court and allows a court to authorize law enforcement to seize a firearm if the person doesn’t surrender it by letting police or family members seek an order requiring a person to surrender any firearms if they ‘appear to pose a danger’ to themselves or others. This legislation also bans bump stocks at the state level, lowers the legal blood alcohol level to carry a firearm outside a home, and creates a criminal penalty for those who negligently store a firearm where a child could access it.

Recently, former New York Governor Michael Bloomberg has flooded the Nevada Legislature with funding and lobbyists, actively pressuring the Senate Judiciary Committee to add the “red flag” law. Bloomberg donated $12,400,000 between October 2014 and October 2016 to ‘Everytown for Gun Safety’ and ‘Nevadans for Background Checks,’ the main proponents behind Question 1 from the 2016 Election – the Nevada Background Checks for Gun Purchase Initiative.

During the 2016 Election Cycle, ‘Everytown for Gun Safety’ donated $750,000 to the Nevada State Democrat Party and another $13,850,000 going to ‘Nevadans for Background Checks.’ Furthermore, filings show that ‘Everytown for Gun Safety’ donated an additional $3.1 million to Democrat campaigns and its related PACs during Nevada’s 2018 election cycle.

The combined money raised by the 63 members of the Nevada Assembly was $11.7 million for the entire 2017-2018 election cycle and $10.8 million for the 2015-2016 election cycle, a four-year total of $22.5 million. These two groups spent a total of $21.8 million in the four-year period from 2014 to 2018 – nearly the same amount as was donated to all 63 of Nevada’s legislators during the last four years.

In summation: AB291 and its “Red flag” law is a danger to civil liberties in that due process is automatically waived and gun owners are guilty until proven innocent, allowing the police and judges to confiscate firearms without due process and without the ‘accused’ even being aware of it until the police execute a warrant and demand them. Sadly, there has been no public hearings on any “red flag” laws in Nevada.

The Kilchurn Giant Slayer

My childhood friend and published poet, Jeanie French is in Scotland on vacation. She posted this photograph and my imagination sprang into action. So I wrote this story…

Jeanie strolled closer to Scotland’s old Castle Kilchurn, with its collapsing walls and missing roof, wanting a better photograph. Rumor is that the castle was home to a giant, who often scared tourists, and when hungry enough, snatched them up for a mid-morning snack.

Jeanie saw the giant’s hand reaching from the dungeon through a gap in the foundation, and with her pen and a well placed verse of poetry:

“Giant, Giant, go away now!
Not to eat am I, being mostly skin and bone.
I have warned you, so pow!
A wave of my quill — poof — you are stone!”